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Vertex Protease Inhibitor Effective in One of Two Measures During Phase III Clinical Trial
Vertex Pharmaceuticals on Thursday announced that in the last of three late-stage clinical trials its experimental protease inhibitor drug, called 908, failed to suppress HIV as strongly as another drug already on the market, Reuters reports. The trial found that 908, which was co-discovered by Vertex and GlaxoSmithKline, did not suppress the virus as strongly as the combination protease inhibitor lopinavir/ritonavir, which Abbott Laboratories sells under the brand name Kaletra. But Vertex found that 908 was as effective as Kaletra in suppressing the virus in patients who had already been treated with antiretroviral drugs, Reuters reports. The company's two previous trials found 908 to be effective in both measures, Reuters reports. "The total picture is that we have run three trials that have shown the potency and tolerability of 908 and we believe the drug can be approved in 2003," Michael Partridge, a Vertex spokesperson, said. The company believes that the drug has fewer side effects than similar medications and that its dosages will make the drug "more appealing," according to Reuters. Patients take two pills once or twice a day, according to Reuters (Reuters, 7/24).
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